Researchers discover how whooping cough is evolving paving the way to a new
Whooping cough strains are adapting to better infect
humans, a team of Sydney researchers has found.
The scientists, led by microbiologist Dr Laurence Luu of the University
of New South Wales, may have solved the mystery of why, despite
widespread vaccinations, the respiratory disease has been resurgent in
Australia across the past decade. There have been more than 200,000 cases
recorded during the period.
Professor Mark Kendall is planning to dispatch the 160-year-old needle and syringe to history. He’s invented a new vaccine technology that’s painless, uses a fraction of the dose, puts the vaccine just under the skin, and doesn’t require a fridge.
The Nanopatch is a 1 cm square piece of silicon with 20,000 microscopic needles engineered on one side. Coat the needles with dry vaccine, push it gently but firmly against the skin, and the vaccine is delivered just under the outer layer of skin.
It’s a technology he invented in response to a call from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation seeking ideas for delivery of vaccines in developing countries—where it’s a challenge to keep conventional wet vaccines cold to the point of delivery.
Indonesia is rolling out a five-in-one vaccine that they plan to deliver in a single shot to every Indonesian child to protect them against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib).
The rollout is supported by the Australian Government through GAVI, the global vaccine alliance. The vaccine is manufactured by Bio Farma, who also hope to add rotavirus to the vaccines in the future.
Vaccines work best when they include an adjuvant, something that boosts your immune system’s reaction to the vaccine.
University of Melbourne researchers have recreated a fragment of a bacteria protein that activates white blood cells.
In 2012, they signed a research agreement with Bio Farma to help them turn their idea into a novel vaccine platform that could enhance vaccines for hepatitis, diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, and other diseases.
Better vaccines are needed for the global fight against tuberculosis (TB) with nine million new cases annually. Indonesia had more than 320,000 reported cases in 2014, while Australia’s reported cases were just over 1,000. But the rise of drug-resistant TB poses a threat to all countries.
Two proteins from the tuberculosis bacterium have shown promising results in investigations for a new vaccine in mice. Scientists from Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) in Yogyakarta, with colleagues from the Centenary Institute and the University of Sydney in Australia, have found that the injected proteins can prime the immune system to induce protection against TB in mice.
A broad-spectrum flu vaccine is being developed to give better immunity to seasonal influenza strains and increased protection against future influenza pandemics.
The technology was created by researchers at the Australian National University and the University of Adelaide, who set up Gamma Vaccines to commercialise their ideas.
In 2013, Gamma Vaccines signed a three-way development agreement with Bio Farma and SOHO Industri Pharmasi to develop, manufacture, trial, and distribute the vaccine in Indonesia and other Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries.